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How to remove rust on cast iron

A little (or a lot) of rust on your cast iron cookware is no reason to panic. Follow these simple steps to refurbish your cast iron finish, and you’ll be cooking for decades to come.

Step 1

Scrub and wash your pan

Scour the rusty sections with steel wool or the Lodge Rust Eraser. Then wash the pan with warm, soapy water. This step may remove portions of the seasoning, but that’s okay because we’re preparing to re-season the pan.

Lodge Cast Iron Rust Eraser

Step 2

Dry thoroughly

Completely dry your cast iron skillet with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. You can place it on the stovetop on low heat for a few minutes to make sure it’s completely dry.


Step 3

Apply oil

Add a very thin layer of cooking oil to the entire surface of your cast iron with a cloth or lint-free paper towel. Go easy on the oil—you want just a thin layer, not enough to drip or run when you tilt it. Thin layers are important for baking seasoning into the pan.

A person sprays the seasoning spray onto a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.

Step 4

Bake for 1 hour

Preheat your oven to 450–500 degrees F. Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any excess oil. Put your cookware upside down on the center rack. This helps prevent oil from pooling on the cooking surface. Bake for 1 hour.

A Lodge cast iron pan is placed upside down in the oven to bake.

Step 5

Cool in the oven

Turn the heat off and allow the cast iron skillet to cool in the oven. This allows the seasoning to further cure and adhere to the iron.

A Lodge cast iron skillet cools in the oven after it's been seasoned